Fix-It Friday: Solutions for Stuck Knitters

Posted by on Sep 21, 2012 in Knitting | Comments


Solutions for Stuck KnittersWe’ve all been there.  That moment of confusion when we’re not sure how to proceed with our knitting pattern, or that sinking feeling when we realize we may have messed up.  But, knitting is all about enjoying the process, so no need to stress! If you’ve reached an ambiguous crossroads in your pattern, or think there’s an issue with your knitting, take a deep breath, let yourself smile, and follow these tips to clear up your uncertainty and get back on track:

1) When you get stuck in a knitting pattern, it’s important to take the time to find out exactly where your knitting is in relation to the pattern.  Read your pattern carefully, word-for-word and line-for-line, to make sure you’ve followed the instructions.  Then, find out what row you’re on in your knitting, and compare it to the row you’re on in your pattern.  If your pattern and knitting don’t match, you can adjust to get synced up.

2) If you’re still unsure, take a peek at the designer’s picture of the pattern.  What point of the picture is your knitting at?  Does that section of the picture look like where you are in your knitting?  If it doesn’t, you may have a hiccup in your knitting, and if you can pinpoint your problem, you might consider ripping out to the point where the problem began.  If this is the case, don’t get discouraged.  Mistakes happen to everyone, and now you get to spend a bit more time on your relaxing knitting project, and you’ll finish with the best possible garment!

 

Solutions for Stuck Knitters

3) Still not sure how to proceed?  Do an online search and find out whether other people have been having trouble with the same pattern. If so, you might be able to get clarification from someone who has worked through your issue, or there might be errata (pattern corrections) posted on a site that sells your pattern, or on Ravelry.

4) If you can’t find any support or pattern corrections, it’s probably time to find some help.  After staring at our pattern and knitting for so long, it can be super difficult to pick out the issue we’re having, or figure out how to move forward.  Sometimes it just takes a fresh set of eyes to spot the fix.  A friend or family member who’s an experienced knitter would be a great resource to start with.  If they aren’t sure, it’s time to get in touch with the designer.

 

Solutions for Stuck Knitters

5) Although designers are often busy, they created their pattern because they want people to knit it and love it, not for people to get stuck!  So, designers certainly have a stake in helping you find a resolution.  Most of the time, you’ll be able to find the pattern designer’s email address on the pattern, from wherever you bought the pattern, or through the designer’s blog or website.  When writing your email, make sure to be as clear as possible about where you are in the pattern, and what you’re struggling with.

Some designers will respond quickly, whereas others might take some time to get back to you.  Don’t worry about your knitting for this particular pattern while you’re waiting for a response.  In the meantime, knit something easy for entertainment, or find another fun crafting project to tide you over.

I hope these steps are helpful! If you have your own tips for helping frustrated knitters work through perplexing patterns, please feel free to leave a comment.

 
 

Comments

  1. Great post today! As the saying goes…..as you knit, so shall you rip! Also, when contacting the designer if you are stuck, and I strongly encourage my customers to do so, be sure to state the name of the pattern you purchased. That will really keep the back and forth emails to a minimum.

    I look forward to next weeks solution.

    Best,
    Sheila

  2. sharon says:

    Think this is a good blog in that knitters often times panic and don’t think out the situation. Sometimes the ‘fix’ is relatively simple and becasue we ourselves have made the mistake.
    Can’t get this to ‘pin’ however; just won’t do it.

  3. DIANA says:

    Thx for the advices, they are very helpful, I rescently got stuck in a pattern and thought of emailing the designer, which replied right away; she was awesome to the extent of having amazing patience understanding me, I bought the pattern from CRAFTSY and so far, I’m almost done with the garment. Ive learned a lot with this pattern and with her advise. Thx. I look forward in purchasing more patterns as soon as I can get to understand the way the online classes work.

  4. Lizette says:

    Yes, I totally agree. And of course, knitting instructions can seem overwhelming sometimes, and that is when one step at a time, comes into it. I find such a sense of achievement when I overcome a knitting conundrum.
    I design my own patterns, and my main problem is my self-imposed knitting shorthand. I almost always work on several projects at a time, and I must admit, the knitting abbreviations and notes I’ve made for myself, has made me sweat on more than one occasion, but this does help to smooth out the kinks that would otherwise be in a published pattern.

  5. Jean says:

    This came at the right time. Trying to finish up an afghan and found a mistake about 8 rows back. Tried fixing it but had to rip back to that point. Decided to take a break before starting again. The people at Craftsy have been wonderful in answering questions as well as folks at Knitting Paradise (sp). There’s always someone that is willing to lend a hand to help. Thanks so much for all you do at this site.

  6. Patty B says:

    This advice also works for those who crochet! Thank you for the reminder to keep calm, review and ask for help.

  7. Sally says:

    I may just be lucky but my local yarn store staff will help knitters who are stuck (even if you didn’t buy the yarn at the shop). They offer help whenever they are not busy with other customers and also have two hours set aside on Sundays when anyone can come in to knit and ask help from their Master Knitter. I hope there are other stores who offer this service!

  8. Mary says:

    Another good source for help, especially if you don’t have a friend who can help, is a yarn store. Their employees are experienced knitters and are willing to provide assistance. Some yarn stores even have a certain night each week where knitters can bring in their problems for help.

  9. bluebird says:

    does anyone know what abbr. w&t means?????

    1. Alabama Knitter says:

      Hi, my best guess is “wrap and turn,” as in knitting short rows. Hope this helps!

    2. Jo-ann says:

      I’m pretty sure it means wrap and turn. I presume your pattern has short row shaping. Slip the next stitch to be worked onto your right hand needle, then wrap the yarn around the stitch. Return the stitch to the left hand needle, turn and continue working in required stitch (knit or purl).

      Jo-ann

    3. Carla Kipen says:

      Could be “wrap and turn.”

  10. Hatlover says:

    Great advice. Sometimes when I’m stuck I find it helps to take a break and “sleep on it.” More often than not, I find that when I take a break and look at things again after relaxing or doing some other task, when I return to my knitting I see it with “fresh eyes” and understand what I did wrong or what the pattern instruction means.

  11. Susan says:

    http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall06/patterns.html#ksbbb

    Wrap and turn – the technique used in short row knitting to make sure there are no holes in your work when you turn. See above, YouTube videos etc

  12. Diana says:

    Wonderful advice for both new and experienced knitters! I was wondering what the pattern is that is pictured? I’d like to use it. Thanks again for the great advice.

  13. Laura says:

    Great post!

    I’m dying to know what the pattern is for the red sweater. It looks gorgeous!